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What Clone Troopers Actually See When Wearing Their Helmets

Clone Troopers wear protective suits of armor in the Star Wars prequels, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and Star Wars: The Bad Batch, but what do they actually see when wearing their iconic Star Wars helmets? Clone troopers are among the best equipped and effective non-Force using warriors in the galaxy, and their armor is only second to Mandalorian beskar in protectiveness. In both canon and the original timeline, Legends, clone troopers wore two phases of armor during the three-year Clone Wars. In Legends, Phase II was a vast improvement over the already-sturdy Phase I suits, but in canon, Phase II was a downgrade (likely due to the Republic’s waning resources). Nevertheless, both phases and their variants provided clones with full visibility and a heads-up display to assist them in battle.

The most in-depth look at what clones see when wearing their helmets in Legends comes from the 2005 Clone Wars era video game Star Wars: Republic Commando. The game is told entirely from a first-person perspective, with the player seeing through the eyes of the clone commando “Boss,” who wears his helmet for the whole game, aside from several brief moments in the tutorial. The game shows that, despite a thin visor, clone commando helmets give their wearers excellent visibility in addition to their robust heads-up display (HUD). The HUD, partially for gameplay purposes, shows the commando’s vital signs (health in gameplay terms) and the suit’s deflector shields. It also links to the commando’s blasters for additional accuracy and squadmates to keep track of their location. Aside from having a shield generator, commando armor is generally similar to standard clone armor, so the HUD is presumably similar for troopers.

Related: Star Wars: Phase I and II Clone Trooper Armor Explained

Canon confirms this assumption in the Clone Wars episode “Legacy of Terror.” A brief moment in the episode shows Commander Cody’s first-person view, revealing that his modified Phase I helmet shares similar visibility and a nearly identical HUD to clone commandos. In the episode “Missing in Action,” clone commando Gregor’s view inside his helmet is also shown, revealing an identical HUD to Legends-era commandos. In the Bad Batch episode “Reunion,” the first-person view of a severely wounded Hunter is shown, revealing the view within his heavily customized commando helmet. Unsurprisingly, Hunter’s HUD is generally similar to that of standard clone troopers and commandos, albeit with a different arrangement of battlefield information.

Throughout canon and Legends, clone troopers are impeccable marksmen. While this is largely owed to their lifelong training and Fett heritage, their helmets’ HUD being connected to their blasters certainly contributes to their renowned fighting prowess. Moreover, their helmets include low-light vision modes, as shown in the Legends-era Republic Commando and canon’s The Clone Wars. Many clones, such as Legends-era ARC troopers and canon’s Captain Rex, customize their helmets with rangefinders for additional targeting and tracking enhancements. Others, such as Commanders Bly and Deviss, attached macrobinoculars to their helmets to scout out Separatists from a long distance.

Although certain phases of clone armor, depending on the continuity, are better than others, the protectives suits were incredibly useful to the clone army. The armors protected against radiation and other harsh environmental hazards and kept clones safe from physical attacks from all but the strongest species. Like Imperial stormtrooper armor, clone armors protected against blaster bolts, though Star Wars' military-grade armor-piercing blasters, which the Separatists used exclusively, would burn through them. The most well-equipped mercenaries, such as Cad Bane, also carried armor-piercing blasters, as shown in The Clone Wars. Bane’s standoff with Hunter in Star Wars: The Bad Batch nearly resulted in the elite clone’s death, and the view within his helmet was a nod to Republic Commando that was sure to please fans.

Next: Star Wars: Does Stormtrooper Armor Actually Provide Protection?

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